Pound election gains wiped out after Boris Johnson rules out further Brexit delays

PUBLISHED: 11:24 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:45 17 December 2019

The state of the pound after Boris Johnson announced plans to 'ban' extensions to the Brexit transition period. Photograph: Twitter.

The state of the pound after Boris Johnson announced plans to 'ban' extensions to the Brexit transition period. Photograph: Twitter.

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The pound saw all gains made following Boris Johnson’s election victory wiped out after he planned to prevent any future extensions to the Brexit transition period.

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The city had previously been concerned that a no-deal Brexit would have catastrophic effects on the UK economy, with sterling falling against the dollar every time crashing out of the EU looked likely.

On Tuesday, the pound fell 1.35% against the euro and 1.04% against the dollar to 1.182 euros and 1.319 dollars.

Previously sterling had jumped by the same highs shortly after the publication of the general election exit poll predicted a Conservative majority.

David Cheetham, chief market analyst at XTB, said: "It has taken less than a week for the pound to complete a round trip, illustrating that political uncertainty has far from been eliminated and that two-way risks remain for sterling going forward."

MORE: Brexit Party MEP says it is the fault of Remainers that the pound has dropped

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Many in the markets had hoped the 80-seat majority would lead to a more nuanced approach by the prime minister to negotiating a trade deal with the EU, with some being surprised at the change of events.

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Neil Wilson, city analyst at Markets.com, said: "I must confess to believing he wouldn't need to be so drastic, that a large majority offered the flexibility yet strength a government craves in deal-making.

"This sets up another cliff-edge and could create yet more months of uncertainty for investors just when we thought all was squared away."

Dean Turner, economist at UBS Wealth Management, commented: "The pound's latest slide is symptomatic of the fact that Brexit is a way off being 'done', and will remain important for sterling over the coming months.

"The risk of the UK reverting to trading with the EU on WTO terms could still drive larger (pound) moves, particularly given the latest noises coming out of Downing Street."

Meanwhile acting Lib Dem leader Ed Davey warned that Boris Johnson is set to "crash the economy".

He said: "Today's news is evidence that Boris Johnson's government looks set to crash our economy thanks to his disastrous Brexit plans.

"Whether its putting people's livelihoods on the line in our factory sector, or increasing prices with the pound weakening in 2020, it is clear that Boris Johnson's promise to unleash Britain's potential is nothing more than empty rhetoric.

"We haven't even left yet and the damage to communities right across the UK is already being felt, not to mention the no deal threats he is now trying to force into law.

"The Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose Brexit and hold the Conservative government to account for the damage they look set to unleash."

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